The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

“It doesn’t matter if you fall down; get the fuck back up.”

  • James ‘Buddy’ Nielsen

I have always viewed each post on this site as a chapter in my life. Once a piece is written and published, I move on to the next, making a conscious effort not to look back at the works that I have already completed. But over the past five months I have been moving through a period of introspection, confronting myself with the darker aspects of my personality, and forcing myself to read through the chapters of my life that I have transcribed and shared with the world.

During my readings, I stumbled across a post called Bellicose; a piece in which I likened my own life and creative evolution to boxing. At the time, I thought that I had been through some shit; I believed that life had knocked me down and that I had learned what it took to get back up. But I was wrong. I had never even stepped into the goddamn ring. I was just a mouthy boy who thought that revelling in pain would ultimately make me a stronger man. I was forcing myself to be bitter and angry for the sake of art, and in doing so I altered my reality by opening my heart to hate and shutting out the opinions, thoughts and feelings of others.

But a few months ago, life really did knock me out. In the space of a month I split from the woman I want to marry, and learned that the sophomore novel I had spent over a year creating would no longer be put into print via the publishing house that produced Midas. At the time, I was a mess. I have never felt as low as a did when my lover walked out on me; I cried myself to sleep for weeks, and felt a pain inside of my chest that hurt worse than anything I had ever felt.

Losing my lover was a right hook that blurred my vision and saw my knees buckle; losing the publishing deal was the left jab that sent me crashing to the floor where I lay dazed and confused, staring at the ceiling wondering how the hell my entire world had just fallen apart.

At first the answers to the questions I asked of myself were difficult to come by. Self-analysis can be a horribly confronting experience, and something had broken inside of me. But as I lay motionless on the floor of my bedroom staring at the ceiling through teary eyes, I began to realise that despite spending years forcing myself to feel pain, I had never allowed myself the opportunity to learn from my experiences. I was still the same emotionally fragile boy that began writing in his room at the age of seventeen, I was just hiding behind a moniker of a wolf because I was afraid of becoming the man that I should have always been.

I used anger to shield myself from the world, and in doing so I lost the most important person in mine. When she left, my heart fractured into a million pieces and I fell harder than I ever thought possible. But I eventually picked myself up off the floor, stared at my reflection in the mirror, opened my heart and mind, and allowed myself to learn from the pain of loss. When I did so I realised that for 27 years I had ignored my own wellbeing and left my soul to wander on its own in search of fulfilment while filling my head with anger, angst and bullshit.

Alright. Let’s take a quick interlude and allow the self-pity that seems to be bubbling to the surface to fade. Because this post isn’t about me. It’s about you, and the people around you; and it’s about a metamorphosis of the mind that will prevent you from feeling the pain that I had to endure in order to discover who I really am. When my lover left me, my heart wasn’t the only thing that broke; my ego did too, and while the first hurts like hell, the liberation that has come from losing the later has changed my life.

This post is about not allowing your soul to wander searching for fulfilment. It’s about taking a moment to slow down and ask yourself what it is that your soul is yearning for, what your heart desires, and what your dreams in their purest forms consist of. This post is a means of saying that only fools wait until life knocks them flat on their back to realise what it is that truly matters to them.

For me personally, my soul has wandered for 27 years in search of happiness. Sadly, that happiness has always been right in front of me; I was just too caught up in my own self-loathing to see it. But after losing everything and having to rise to my feet once again, I can say that from this moment forward there are only three things in this world that matter to me; and I vow to never allow my soul to wander in search of them again. Those three things are my happiness, my family, and the woman who taught me what it means to fall hopelessly in love.

Expressing gratitude for the first two is simple. Happiness is a choice; life is a gift that should be celebrated every goddamn day, and even the darker moments that we experience are opportunities to grow. If I hadn’t of hit rock bottom, I might never have learned what it is to be a man, or how to pick myself up off the ground when life knocked me down.

My family have stood by me and loved me since the day I was born, and now that I’m becoming a man, I can be there to help them when they fall, just as they have with me. I’m making a conscious effort to show them that I love them at every opportunity, because as wonderful as life is, it can change in a heartbeat, and I don’t want to them to ever doubt that I care.

And then there’s the girl… I don’t know if I’ll get my happily ever after with her. I probably won’t. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t love her unconditionally and cherish the wonderful moments that we spent together. I gave my heart to my her the very first time that we met, and it’s hers to keep until we both grow old and wrinkly. I would love to become her husband one day, and be the man who cares for her when she is sick, holds her hand, or kisses her head while she falls asleep. But even if I never get the opportunity to be that man, I know that a small piece of our souls will be intertwined for the rest of our lives.

OK. Here we go… Here comes the part that’s all about you and those you care about. I’ve shared my vulnerability with the world, and now it’s your turn to do the same. 

Are you ready?

Every holiday season people across the globe usher in the new year by creating resolutions: promises to themselves and their friends to focus on self-improvement in some small way. But those resolutions are quickly forgotten as the reality of our daily lives makes us forget what it is that we are trying to improve within ourselves. So, this year I want you to try something different. I want you to abandon the notion of a resolution, and make a promise to yourself, and to your loved ones instead. Promise that you will no longer allow your soul to wander in search of whatever it is that it yearns for. It doesn’t matter whether you are searching for a partner, a career, a family, an experience, or just to rediscover the smile that you’ve misplaced. Promise yourself, and those around you that you’ll discover what it is that makes your heart beat, and your soul complete, and chase it down with everything that you have got.

At the bottom of this post you’ll find an image that I urge you to take and share with the people you care about. Complete the sentence and tell them what it is that your soul desires. Open your heart and tell them what matters to you, and share your aspirations with them. And then ask them to share their hopes and dreams with you. Help each other strive towards your dreams and become the change you wish to see in the world. Don’t waste another holiday season creating a resolution that fades; create a conversation and a goal to make your dreams your reality instead.

And if you are someone who has been knocked down by life, and haven’t figured out how to get back up; consider this post a helping hand reaching out to you. Get up off the floor and figure out what your soul is searching to find, and then start building a life that is worth fighting for.

Life is a beautiful gift. Celebrate it, and cherish every single day.

%22the-man-who-views-the-world-at-50-the-same-as-he-did-at-20-has-wasted-30-years-of-his-life-%22

43 thoughts on “Worth Fighting For…

  1. nigarzindani says:

    Strongly could relate thankyou

  2. I almost cried… =(
    Recently (and unfortunately), I have been cruel to myself for wanting a certain guy (who apparently doesn’t like me back) and I felt like I’m so ugly and despicable
    I have thought that I wanted to bury myself, and get lost for good
    I hate seeing him even though it wasn’t his fault
    I was loathing the rest of the world
    But writing saved me, at the very least
    I get to express what I can’t say in real life although sadly, I’m bound to cover it all up in a metaphor to hide my stupidity

  3. First of all, I want to say thank you for writing such an honest and raw reflection. It’s not easy to do and I’m a little in awe.

    I’ve been thinking along the same lines recently, about what makes me happy, so this post really speaks to me. I’m going to call my soul back in and we are going to have a little chat.

  4. Louise says:

    Hear Her … It is really everything we all want to say out aloud but are afraid to. Like the others and You I have been wandering for FAR TOO many years. searching for that “perfect job, lover, family peace, etc”.
    I blame that damn modern day technology for making all of us self loathing. and having no self respect. So i will give it a shot. cannot promise too much but it really is worth a try.

  5. ReginaMJKyle says:

    Thank you, Chris, We all need this–even at 80. Peace and joy for the New Year.

  6. It’s something worth reading. You’re an amazing writer and a great human being. I salute you. God bless .

  7. Daria Kill says:

    Darling, I’ve been wondering when you’d write again.

    You will find another. Extraordinary people always do.

    Daria. xx

  8. I agree with Daria. Also the Beatles —”You can’t always get what you want.” But when you get old you become thankful for what you take for granted when you are young — good health, one day at a time.

  9. I appreciate your vulnerability and growth and your willingness to share them.

    I’m 59 years old and I have survived enough adventures to offer my experience. You are stating lifetime, not momentary or annual, changes. I think maybe you’re underestimating the ease of pursuing happiness and loving family. Those are easy phrases, but each describes very complex multi-level ideas. In addition, they can easily come into conflict. No family ever lives up to our expectations, and many things that look like “happiness” only satisfy for a short time, if that. Also, you keep saying “I” will do these things. Seek help. If you have no Greater Power, Ultimate Source, or whatever term fits that concept for you, get something. Even if you do what I did when I reached that point and “make something up” that fits your needs, use something to keep yourself appropriately humble. You will also find people who can help you if you let that happen.

    What you ask of us also grows with examination. In my personal case, I said aloud, my whole life, what I want. “All I ever wanted was peace and quiet” came out of my mouth a hundred times or more. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not so. I go through stages in getting there. First, I had to turn down the “noise” in my mind by finding and beginning to heal the dysfunctions that took away my sanity. Once I could think straight, it took years to notice what I wanted and needed in my life, even though part of me had always known. I have found enough peace and quiet to be satisfying, but I continue to listen, study, and work on all this. I found my particular healing path almost by accident 28 years ago. Keep your commitment, but expect to make gradual progress with some painful lessons. You write fiction, but there are necessary differences between fiction and real daily life. Study them. Dramatic climaxes are mostly fiction. I have had turning points, but almost all of them were course corrections. None were 180 degree pivots. Those turning points have added up to a far more rewarding life.

  10. I lost everyone I loved in two years. “Lost” as in seeing them die. It took that to make me realize that searching for rainbows and unicorns is foolishness. As you point out, what we have is this moment. Have I followed through? I’m still working on it, and you?

  11. Pazlo says:

    As I read your post I can’t help but think “blessed are the ignorant”.
    I don’t mean ignorant in any demeaning way, but one who is fortunate enough to have never known a thing.
    In your life, at this stage, a breakup with a girlfriend is a monumental tragedy. (I am not without sympathy for this.)
    I hope (and would pray if a Christian) that you may remain ignorant as long as possible, that you might never know some of the unspeakable things that befall us in the course of our lives.
    Count your blessings daily.

    Seek peace,

    Paz

  12. Another eloquently penned piece, my Friend! I believe you are on the verge of making some sweeping changes in your existence and change is ultimately never a bad thing. If you can truly embrace the concept of learning from all your experiences you will find your life opening up in unexpected ways. Sure, this a damned hard practice to put into play but the more you strive towards it the easier it becomes. I’m 63 years of age and I didn’t even begin to get to where you are until I was in my middle fifties; if nothing else rejoice in the idea that you are chasing your demons and working to expand yourself at such a relatively young age. Do what you must in pursuit of your lover but at the end of the day remember this: “all we truly have in this existence is the ‘now’ – the moment in which we touch, feel, breath and in some cases die – so forget about the past and the future and try with all your being to live in the now!”.

  13. Eileen says:

    During a Jungian inner journey in my early sixties, I had a very vivid dream. My husband and I were in a dining room on a boat on a river cruise. They brought us a series of small appetizers, which my husband ate with great pleasure, but I ignored while waiting for the main course. At some point I realized there would be no main course. I was furious and went searching the boat for another dining room. When I found one, they only brought me an apple, which I threw against the wall in frustration. I went out on the front deck of the boat which began to go through a dark tunnel which became so small that I had to hunch down as we went through it. I felt total despair at first, but became hopeful when I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Since then I have learned to delight in and treasure the small joys of life, while accepting the pain of failures and disappointments that are part and parcel of being an imperfect human being in an imperfect world. I used to live in the future with its possibilities, missing the joys and the grace available in the difficulties of the present. At 79 I now am pretty much running out of future! But I have had many experiences, both joyful and heartbreaking that have become grace for me since that dream. Life is about growing from living in awareness of the whole reality of the journey, not ego or worldly gains.

    Sounds like you are getting a much earlier start on that than I did. I wish you a rich experience of all that life offers on your journey.

  14. I love this. Thank you for sharing! It showed up for me at the perfect time.

  15. anne leueen says:

    Life is hard work and relationships are perhaps even harder. At the age of 67 I am at the other end of the spectrum from you but recognize and remember so many of the things you are experiencing. How wise to live life and enjoy it all because that is the most important thing. we never know how long we have. So live and love and make the most of it. I have left no stones unturned in my life and I have no regrets. Thank you for this post. You have my admiration for such honesty.

  16. Gale Wright says:

    I hope you inspire lots of people with this post. This really is what life is about.

  17. I love the way your spirit and passion come through on this post. You are picking yourself up and finding your way, and I know how impossibly hard that can be, but you’re doing it, and I admire that. Your words are so inspiring: ” Don’t waste another holiday season creating a resolution that fades; create a conversation and a goal to make your dreams your reality instead.”

    I have found that, for me, to focus on those smaller goals and self-promises, I am better able to see the big picture and grasp the greater goals and desires. I learn to savor the joy of the small moments and victories from which life and happiness are contrived. I share this all with my 3 kids – my reason to be and to strive for excellence. Yes, my spirit yearns for more, for friendship, for intimate adult connections, which I’ve lacked for years now. But it is like the unfulfilling yearning of unrequited love, and brings more pain than contentment. So I am learning more and more each day to keep seeking happiness from within myself, instead of looking outward to others to meet any of my needs for me.

  18. Miranda says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and liking my post. I’m grateful to have found this illuminating piece regarding self awareness, introspection, and vulnerability. Stay strong.

  19. In times of struggle this will always remind me what really matters in life. It is so relatable and painfully honest. A real eye opener for putting things into perspective – thank you

  20. Chris says:

    Beautiful. Let the search end and the living begin.

  21. karenelias90 says:

    I am keeping this phrase “Get up off the floor and figure out what your soul is searching to find, and then start building a life that is worth fighting for”…yes all about the damn good writing I am keeping that for my personal life. Thank you man.

  22. Phil Huston says:

    When you discern that the whining and the recriminations and the guilt and the self pity are what they are, the healing begins and your vision clears. Done is done. Life doesn’t have a reverse or a do-over cycle or even the creative’s ability to polish a turd. All you can do is stand up and vow to do it better than you’ve done it and make that stuff stop.

  23. Raney Simmon says:

    Once again, you blow me away with your writing. Thank you for always speaking from the heart. It’s refreshing. I hope in the months to come, you can continue on this path and continue to do well.

  24. “My soul won’t be left to wander, searching for…the perfect hat.”
    I’m glad you’re making a comeback from tough times. Hang in there. And keep the blog going.

  25. livlavish says:

    Excellent. This helps me to know to hold on. I really do appreciate this. My blog talks about equality and how my race is trivialized within media. If you want to check it out, feel free, LIVlavish.wordpress.com

  26. itskamryn says:

    I love this so much

  27. jpagan says:

    Beautiful. I’ve spent this week debating what to do with my life and this hammered things home. Thank you.

  28. Reblogged this on MJ And Jenn's Place and commented:
    A beautiful piece to make you think. Take nothing for granted my dears. We can loose it all in less than the blink of an eye.

  29. anzjutjie says:

    Thanks for sharing. I can relate, in terms of self-loathing, creating my own inner turmoil when life really has so many opportunities and good stuff! I wrote down a few of your words to go and really write down what I want. I like your style. I hope things work out with the lady 🙂

  30. Thanks for those words, I felt reflected

  31. Jiniyas Awode says:

    Often when I read your work, I wonder whether you are my psychic double(if there is anything like that), and therefore privy to all my secrets, because man o man, it’s like you read my mind EVERY SINGLE TIME.
    But reading the comments above, I see that others relate as well – and I am not alone with these worries of mine.

  32. lynnefisher says:

    So well described, Chris…you’ve been on such a journey and I can relate to the ego dissolving, the emptiness you can feel, but also the freedom it brings, I’ve had that too as part of a midlife ‘transition’ which was painful to say the least. I had to throw away what wasn’t working for me any more, both externally and internally. You’re right, we have to appreciate what we have and nuture it while seeking what our soul desires and staying true to that one day at a time, while also negotiating the every day realities. Not easy, but worth the effort and discipline it takes.

  33. Judi Risser says:

    Beautifully honest. More honesty… the universe has greater plans for us than we can ever imagine…we think too small, like humans always do. Instead of us thinking what our magnitude is, we need allow the universe to show it to us. Allow things to happen and you will be shocked at how small your own plan was for you. There is no ceiling…there is no ceiling.

  34. Birdie🐤 says:

    Life is never easy, everyday has a lesson to learn. In buddhism has a saying, no roses would look exactly the same, they always have slightly different, they would never compare with others, just focus on their own job – open and blossom. Keep strong and positive.

  35. So inspiring, this is by far the best post ever written, that picture everything so true!

    The Uptowners
    http://www.theuptowners.wordpress.com

  36. Your writing is amazing, I truly felt everything you said. Really gives you a reminder to slow down and stop looking for the next thing ahead when you have so much greatness in front of you. I hope things have worked out for the best for you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: